Use of antidepressants may be ineffective for patients with autism, scientists claim

October 28, 2019  22:37

The use of antidepressants may be ineffective in reducing obsessive-compulsive behavior in patients with autism spectrum disorders, said scientists from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, US.

Scientists drew attention to the fact that a third of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders receive prescriptions for antidepressants, although evidence of their effectiveness in this situation is inconsistent.

A clinical study tested the feasibility of fluoxetine, also known as Prozac, to reduce symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder in 146 patients aged 7.5 to 18 years. Initial results suggested some behavioral changes due to medication, but further analysis did not show any particular benefits.

Therefore, scientists recommend that general practitioners take the time to prescribe antidepressants for autism, especially considering that these drugs have many unpleasant side effects.

However, experts noted that although the study did not find any significant evidence of the effectiveness of antidepressants for patients with autism, each decision to discharge them should be made taking into account individual situations

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